Television / Science Fiction

Roswell: Season Three

Distributed By:  United Paramount Network

Reviewed by Justine Manzano

            As promised, I return from a long, mostly school-induced, hiatus with the final part of my three-part review of the new series I discovered – Roswell.  As I mentioned in my reviews of Seasons 1 and 2, things were always rocky for this little show that could – Season 1 almost led to cancellation, despite the cult following and spot-on writing and acting.  When they were finally renewed for a second season, the storylines were pumped up in the attempt to get more ratings – the clothing got skimpier, the stories got more violent, the characters got darker and the alien nature of the series got pumped up quite a bit.  So, did the WB save the show with all of these changes they requested?  No – the series was cancelled by the end of Season 2.  Thankfully, with the series being let go at the same time as WB darling Buffy the Vampire Slayer was up for a contract renewal with the WB, Buffy skipped off to UPN, a fledgling new network, and took Roswell with it.  Suddenly, Roswell was back to life and on a new network, and it was free to do whatever it wished with its storyline.  So the creators happily took things back to basics.  But would it work?

            Season 3 of Roswell picks up months after alien Tess (Emilie de Ravin, Lost) betrayed fellow aliens Max (Jason Behr, Skinwalkers, The Grudge), Michael (Brendan Fehr, Samurai Girl, CSI Miami) and Max’s sister Isabel (Katherine Heigl, Grey’s Anatomy, 27 Dresses), and run off with Max’s baby to another planet.  When we begin the season, Max and the love of his life, human Liz (Shiri Appleby, ER, Six Degrees) are doing whatever they can to help Max find a way back to his son, at some points, doing things that are downright criminal to get the information.  Meanwhile, Michael is still dealing with the complications of his relationship with human Maria (Majandra Delfino, Quarterlife) who is starting to get more and more tired of the alien drama.  Isabel has begun secretly dating her father’s co-worker, attorney Jesse Ramirez (Adam Rodriguez, CSI: Miami) and is simultaneously trying to hide the relationship from her father and trying to hide her alien-ness from Jesse.  Meanwhile former Sheriff Jim Valenti (William Sadler, Wonderfalls) struggles with his unemployment while his son Kyle (Nick Wechsler) struggles with his newfound crush on Isabel.  The real drama cuts in when Liz begins to get a power because Max used his powers on her and when Liz’s parents and Max’s parents worked together to uncover Max, Isabel and Michael’s secret.  The entire series culminates in both a real and figurative graduation, and an explosive reunion with Max’s baby and Tess.

            The best thing about Season 3 of Roswell was the fact that it really went back to the series basics – more about relationships and less about the really alien science fiction stuff, more about being hunted by the humans and less about being hunted by other aliens.  As always, the series regulars did a great job acting up a storm despite often completely offbeat storylines.  Rodriguez is a wonderful addition to the cast, returning the series to the usual story of hiding their secret without making it stale.  The special effects still left something to be desired, but it still wasn’t bad for a series that had almost been canceled twice. 

Though the series could still get a little outlandish at times, the season brought the series to Earth again, for just long enough to wrap it up in an interesting little bow. Either way, if you’re going to check out a new series, this is the way to go.  Even in its less interesting moments the series still rocked.  Plus, you get a series that actually ends, which is a refreshing change from cliffhanger endings that just hurt to watch.  If you’re a fan of the Sci-Fi series or the Teen Drama, this series is definitely worth the watch.


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